December 18, 2019

“So there’s just three of us living here?”
“Right. You, me, and the dog.”
“Oh, I keep thinking there’s someone else.”
We’ve had that conversation a bunch of times over the last two days. It’s not a new conversation, but she usually doesn’t dwell on it like she has lately. But we had a sit-down this morning and now I know a little more.
Last night when I got off work I found her in bed. She was tired. She said she hadn’t slept well the night before. She’d been cold, and she couldn’t get her heated mattress pad to work. I let her know I was moving her car into the garage but I would move it out in the morning so she could go to breakfast. That’s when she said she wasn’t feeling well and she didn’t know if she was going to go. That was the first I’d heard she wasn’t feeling well.
I was up doing morning tasks today when she came into the dining room– up earlier than usual. She started the morning with, “I get so confused about things.” That was a door opening so I stepped in.
We sat in the semi-dark of the living room and she asked about who lived here. She recognized me, I looked familiar, but she didn’t know my name. She thought, too, that her other daughter should live here but she also knows that’s not right because my sister lives half way across the country from here. She says she’s not frightened when this confusion happens but she is worried about it, and confused. Just so confused.
Then she asked for help with her finances. She says she’s worried about leaving everything up in the air. She doesn’t want to die with things not settled. She has a will and has assigned me medical power of attorney but she’s worried about making sure the bills get paid and the money gets managed. We agreed that I’d call the attorney today and make an appointment. I’m glad for this. I want her to agree to have her finances taken away from her. I want her to turn things over to me voluntarily rather than me taking them from her. I’m glad this is going so easily so far.
She said she’s worried about driving. She thinks she needs to be driving more. She wants someone in the car with her when she drives but that’s not always possible. Which is true, it’s not. But frankly, if I’m going somewhere with her I’d rather be the one driving.
I stayed on the verge of tears through this conversation but I didn’t cry. I gave her a kiss on the cheek and a hug and went to work. On my way she said, “so there’s just three of us here, right?”
“Yep, you, me, and the dog.”
“See? (As in, I get confused!) Okay, just three of us.”
“Yep, you, me, and the dog.”
***
I talked the the lawyer in the afternoon. Mom had taken care of naming me POA for both medical and financial, though there is some paperwork that needs to be handled to complete the financial. He advised against transferring the house to my name because it may make her ineligible for Medicare if she needs it. This worries me. I don’t want her to lose her house if she has to go into a memory care facility. I have begun researching memory care facilities in the area so that I know what to expect when the time comes. I hope it never does.
I feel like I’m planning for the end even though mom is healthy and seemingly quite well except for the memory lapses and confusion. We all must plan, though, because the end could come at any moment and without warning. One need not be sick to die.

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